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I really want to pursue becoming a lactation consultant...is there a job market out there?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a BA in psych/soc. Planning on getting my masters in health and wellness (with concentration in lactation consulting) from union institute online.

So in the end I will be BA, MA, IBCLC

Will I be able to get a job not being an RN? My husband is the sole bread winner, and while it would be GREAT to make $60+ a year, I don't necessarily need to. But obviously I want to get a job after putting out another $25K for school.

We live in the Lehigh Valley, PA, and this area is definitely becoming more and more progressive (slowly). We sort of live in a bubble as far as the economy has gone- haven't been *too* affected. I will be starting about 5 years from now while my kids are in school. There are about 5 hospitals within 15 miles of here and tons of doctors offices.
post #2 of 7
I have volunteered in hospitals that employed non-RN IBCLC's so yes it is possible.

You could also go into private practice.
post #3 of 7
I think it also depends greatly on the area you are in. I know that if you want to work in a hospital-inpatient setting or outpatient clinic here, you need your RN as well. I am not sure about WIC here.
post #4 of 7
I am really interested in this as well.

I am an engineer, and I hate my field. I am really passionate about BF'ing and I have toyed with working towards IBCLC cert. I live in a metro area with tons of hospitls/clinics, but I am worries the lack of healthcare experience and not being an RN will make it imposisble to get a job.

However I have no interest in being an RN!
post #5 of 7
I live in a cluster of larger cities with many hospitals and there is a market here. I have gone to one LC in the area to get help. They are set up now in a small shop that also has doulas, pregnancy & labor classes and sells related stuff. I go there still to get my nursing bras because I am a bigger size and no where else carries my size that I can actually try on and make sure of the fit.

Are you thinking about being a LC and postpartum doula also? I know that it is really big here - to get bf help and also be able to get some baby/mom questions answered.
post #6 of 7
I hadn't thought about PP doula'ing in conjunction with LC. That is a good idea rebecalynn. I will have to ponder that some more.
post #7 of 7
I'm also in PA, we're not too far, we come to bethlehem to ice skating competitions.

Anyway, here's what I have observed since becoming a lactation consultant.

Around here the hospitals make you have your RN to be hired as a IBCLC. There is a job market for hospital LC's and they make about the same amount as the nurses. The same holds true for doctor offices that hire LC's, they seem to want them to have their RN.

As a private LC, I can't say I think there's a big business. Most of my clientele are from my midwifery clients or word of mouth from my clients. I only get a handful of paid clients from the general public.


I attended the private practice LC conference a few years ago, it was great. But almost all LC's do other kinds of work, such as doula, CBE, work another job, etc.

I think that if insurance companies paid for LC's then there would be a much greater demand, but I find that people aren't willing to pay. And I am pretty cheap, much cheaper than the other LC's.

There might be other jobs out there, like at WIC, and probably some other places.

Not to be pessimistic, but I want to just share my information, it's a great job and I love it, but I certainly couldn't do it full time unless I went to work for the hospital.
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